Chicopee, MA- Hayden Bird led four Trailblazers in double figures with 25 points as the MCLA Men's Basketball team used a strong first half to earn an 89-72 win over Elms this evening in the semester finale for both programs. MCLA is now 5-4 as they're off until January 4th. Elms dips to 2-7 on the season.
Bird was 9-14 from the floor and an impressive 7-10 shooting from beyond the three point line. He added 7 rebounds. Chris Becker aided Bird's efforts with 19 points while Noah Yearsley chipped in with 17. Ki-Shawn Monroe notched 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Quentin Gittens took advantage of his start to snag a team best 11 rebounds.
MCLA led just 17-14 in the first half, but Bird connected from deep on two straight possessions and a Becker layup extended MCLA out to a 25-14 advantage. Another Bird triple capped the 11-0 spurt and MCLA led 28-14. The Trailblazers would eventually lead 44-25 at halftime.
In the second half, Elms trimmed the margin to 11 at 73-62, but MCLA answered on a Becker layup and then Yearsley connected from long range to keep Elms at bay. From there, MCLA cruised home.
MCLA shot 50% from the floor compared to just 38% for the Blazers. MCLA held a decided 44-28 edge in the paint.
Elms was led by D.J. Edelen's 24 points. Kewan Smoot and Jaijuan Macklin had 14 and 11 points respectively.